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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Culinary School - Week 3

In Management by Menu class this week our assignment was to write an 800 word paper on "Why Restaurants Fail".  Egad, that's a lot of words!  I struggled to reach the set limit and finally gave up when I reached 782 (including my name and the titles).  I got an A on it! :)  And I don't feel bad about not reaching the 800 word count because the guy that was sitting next to me tonight in class only wrote 293 words.

Our homework for this week is to write up the breakfast menu for our concept restaurant.  I have already written it out, I just need to copy it into word and transfer it up to our doc sharing portal. :)

We didn't have any home work in our Purchasing and Product ID class but I do need to start working on my product specs.  I have to do specifications on about 40 items.  This needs to contain the following things:
Name of Product
Intended use
Brand or Manufacturer
USDA Quality
Quantity or weight
Country of origin
Acceptable Waste or Trim
Package size
Type of Packaging
Processing, preservation and packaging methods
Degree of ripeness
Shelf life
Preparation methods and procedures
Chemical standards
Cost parameters

Until next week,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Culinary School - Week 2

This week in Management by Menu class, the teacher showed us this video (not for the faint of heart!). He said in a way, it involved food.  Our assignment for this week is to write a paper on our restaurant concept, including hours of service, and target demographics.

In Purchasing and Product ID the next day we got to watch this video on the swedish super cows. These are some serious cows, people...

After our break we had a product ID test.  The teacher had brought in 25 produce items and we had to try and name them.  We all got the last one wrong.  It was a Hubbard Squash, which none of us had ever seen.  There were vegetables, fruits, and herbs.  I missed one herb, oregano.  I thought it was marjoram. And I confused the sweet potato and the yam.  Although, looking at these now, I see that I didn't get them wrong, the teacher did!  Hahahahahha!  Anyway, I was the one that got the most correct.  Because I guess the rest of the class can't tell the difference between Italian flat leaf parsley and Cilantro and I can!   Our homework for this week is to write an 800 word paper on "why restaurants fail".  UGH!

Until next week,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Culinary School - Week 1

I am finally realizing the dream I have had for years.  I am attending culinary school.  I chose "The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California - Sunnyvale".

I am enrolled in two classes this quarter.  Because I am on financial aid, I won't get  my chef kit until next quarter.  Sadly, my classes this quarter are not food classes.   My First class is called Management by Menu.  Our project for the class is to create a restaurant name, concept and menu.

Since I don't eat meat on the bone, my restaurant name is "No Bones About It".  Obviously, the concept is meat without bones.  Once I have my menu set, I will post it here.

My second class is called "Purchasing and Product Identification".  For this class we will be creating purchasing specs for every item on our menu and then creating a purchasing manual.  I will be using my menu from my other class.  I am the only student that has both of these classes this quarter so that will save me some work.

I am beyond excited at this opportunity!  I can't wait until next quarter to get my hands on in the kitchen.

We have the opportunity to volunteer for events throughout the year.  I did my first event on April 3rd when I worked at the school for a cooking class that we were giving four families from a local church.  I had two mothers and two fathers in my group.    All of our food was tasty and finished on time.  The organizing chef complimented me on my skills.  Yay!  We earn hours by working at events.  When we reach 75 hours we receive a special name tag for our chef coats.  At 200 hours we get our name embroidered on our chef coats.  That is what I am working for.  I have five hours so far!

Until next week, Ciao!